During the COVID-19 pandemic, most Nebraskans have been fairly lucky. Having had relatively low case counts, rural Nebraska has been able to progress through the reopening process more easily, allowing Nebraskans in many parts of our state to safely return to work, worship and, soon, school. But the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic aren’t only measured in the unemployment rate or lives lost; they’re also measured in the changes we all have experienced in our daily lives.
The pandemic hasn’t put everyday health issues on pause. We still need access to medicines we depend on to treat personal health conditions. When regions across the country began to see rising case counts and increased community transmission, many rural Nebraskans feared we’d be low in priority, unable to access high-demand health care products. Fortunately, America’s health care supply chain has kept supported rural communities during this pandemic, and it’s kept rural Nebraskans safe.
It is so critical that America’s rural communities shouldn’t have to lobby for access to medicines; as our country’s health care distributors calculate how to deliver critical medicines to communities in need, we’re already part of the plan. Today, medications are still arriving to small towns in western Nebraska, despite the crisis at hand.
Pandemic or not, rural communities can’t be forgotten, and the pre-emptive planning of our health care system has made us all safer.